Debuting on the Nickelodeon cable network in 1991, The Ren and Stimpy Show immediately became a cult classic -- depicting the animated misadventures of the tightly-wound chihuahua Ren Höek and the giddily inspid Stimpson J. Cat, the series set new standards in bad taste and anti-social comedy, paving the way for the like-minded Beavis and Butt-Head and South Park to premiere later in the decade. The brainchild of animator John Kricfalusi, Ren and Stimpy was originally marketed to children, but it's outlandish irreverence and bizarre, violent humor immediately found an even more loyal following among students, and the series frequently aired on Nickelodeon's sister channel MTV; early, Kricfalusi-helmed episodes teetered on the edge of genius, but in 1992 the network wrested control of the show away from its creator, dismayed over his increasingly demented storylines and scatlogical sensibility. The watered-down Ren and Stimpy never reached the same peaks of creativity, and the show began a long, slow fade; still, the series managed to generate no less than three soundtrack recordings -- 1993's You Eediot!, Crock O' Christmas and Radio Daze -- in addition to countless home videos, toys and other products.
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